Ohio State picked up their first offensive line commitment for the 2015 class today in the form of Sioux Falls (SD) Roosevelt offensive tackle Grant Schmidt, who earned a committable offer following a strong camp performance in Columbus yesterday.
After watching his highlight tape last night, it was easy to tell that he's able to hold his own on the football field. However, he's doing this in a state (South Dakota) where he's one of two major college football prospects. His size (6'6, 275) is legit, but he's going to have some developing to do once he arrives in Columbus and is a very early redshirt candidate.
He's likely going to play tackle at the college level and I would like to compare him to 2014 signee Brady Taylor, but I think Taylor is much closer to being college ready than Schmidt. I love his upside, but he's not going to be a guy who comes in right away and contributes. In fact not many even top offensive linemen are good enough to do that. With that said, he's going to have the opportunity to work with some of the best coaches in the nation and arguably the top weight training coach in Mickey 'Mick' Marotti.
Our Luke Zimmermann had the following to say about the newest member of Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class:
Grant Schmidt is a work in progress, but a promising one at that. He plays in an offense not entirely dissimilar from Ohio State's. He has quick feet and gets off the ball with the necessary speed for a lineman like he projects to become, but sometimes felt slow to pull when required to. He uses his hands well, getting them at the appropriate pad level properly, but doesn't always impose his will on opposing linemen. He'll need to get stronger at the next level before he's ready to compete for playing time as the sort of players he'll be going against will be significantly better than the ones he didn't exactly overwhelm at the prep level. Though he didn't always 'wow' the way other higher touted linemen do on tape, the blueprint, and more importantly for OSU's strength and conditioning purposes, the frame, are definitely there.
I think he projects best to right tackle at the next level as of now, but semi-late bloomers like former Texas A&M offensive lineman (now of the Jacksonville Jaguars) Luke Joeckel had similar paths and wound up sticking at left tackle just fine.
*This is solely an evaluation based on his highlight tape, which is not a substitute for watching full games or seeing a player in-person.
LGHL football analyst Christopher Jason added his two cents on what Schmidt brings to OSU as well:
Standing at 6'5, Schmidt has great height for the offensive tackle position but like many other prospects, he will have to gain mass to play at a high playoff conference school level. When he gets to Columbus, he will be able to add strength and fill out his frame with more muscle mass.
On film, he stands out against weaker competition with his massive size, but I would like for him develop a mean streak and look to finish blocks more often. He has possesses good foot work and athleticism for his size but he does not physically dominate the opponent like he should.
As a run blocker, Schmidt keeps his legs moving and gets downfield easily but as I said before, I would like to see him dominate the smaller players that he plays against. In pass protection, he does well shielding away defenders and keeps his opponent in front of him.
Overall, Schmidt displays great effort, has the body type and athleticism to play at Ohio State. I would like to see him develop more attitude and aggression on the field as he will need it at Ohio State.
I think Ohio State is going to take three or four offensive linemen in their 2015 recruiting class when it's all said and done, and they're in good position with quite a few top guys right now. Drew Richmond, James Daniels, Patrick Allen, and Matthew Burrell are all seriously considering the Buckeyes with Richmond the only player of that bunch who is definitely a tackle at the college level. This could end up being one of the nation's top offensive line classes for the second consecutive year.
Ultimately, I don't think this commitment has a huge impact on those guys because it was never likely they'd land all four and a lot of them play different positions.